Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Biblioteca de la Guitarra y Cuerda Pulsada

Materials-inspired innovation for acoustic guitar design

This paper presents a case study of research leading to a significant innovation in the acoustic guitar sector (1). The acoustic guitar is a result of centuries of design and development with wood, and has evolved into an archetypal and traditional product with a relatively conservative user base. As with many other product sectors, most acoustic guitars are now mass-produced in China, where low labour costs contribute to an average out-of-factory price of just $20 USD. This paper describes research into a dramatic shift in guitar materials, away from wood fabrication, towards the assembly of industrially moulded thermoplastic components. It is proposed that such a shift in materials can lead to competitive massmanufacture of acoustic guitars outside of low labour cost countries, whilst invigorating the design of this popular musical instrument. Emphasis is placed on articulating the technical, aesthetic, market, and commercial requirements of a thermoplastic acoustic...

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